Archive for January, 2009

New Batman: Arkham Asylum video trailer

January 31, 2009

My buddy Ray gave me the Gamespot link for this, but the CBR version loads a little quicker. So click “CBR version” to watch it! No Bob Hastings or Gary Oldman as Gordon, sadly, but hey, at least they’ve got Conroy as Batman and Hamill as the Joker. It’s a great trailer, but I wonder when we’re going to see some gameplay?

Hindsight, Part 3

January 31, 2009

Hindsight, Part 3

Zordon, I mean Xavier, appears to the X-Men.

At the end of last episode, Rogue’s betrayal became… Obvious? The question remains as to her true motives, but Logan and Warren seem to be under the impression that she was simply used by The Brotherhood to set up the X-Men, running off afterward due to guilt. When she returns to The Brotherhood’s headquarters, she’s welcomed backed with a pretty nasty grin on her face.

As the show opens, the X-Men are regrouping, with Warren taking it upon himself to rebuild the mansion using his father’s funds, and the introduction of Forge, the team’s… I guess you’d call him their Chief Engineer, charged with reconstructing the technical aspects of the mansion, including Cerebro and the Danger Room. He happens  to be a tad overwhelmed by the amount of work on his plate at the moment.

A couple of familiar faces join the team, including Emma Frost, whose motives are questionable, and Cyclops, who returns somewhat begrudgingly after an 2nd visit from Wolverine, who has info on Xavier’s whereabouts.

Those whereabouts happen to be Genosha, home to Magneto and his peaceful country of mutants. While Beast has uncovered no evidence that Magneto was responsible for the explosion at the mansion the year prior, Wolverine still decides to go in with claws popped. I’ll leave the rest for you to see for yourselves.

This episode is a bit light on the action, and heavy on build-up. This easily should’ve been it’s own episode, rather than billed as part of a three-part opener. The pacing is solid, and is giving us a chance to get a look at the personalities of the team. We get glimpses at a young, somewhat goofy Forge, a very calculating Emma (“Ask Logan, if he has his way I’ll be gone by tomorrow”), and a reckless Cyclops, who seems to have only one thing on his mind. You also get to see the fairly young members of the team hold their own against an extremely pissed, yet cool, Magneto.

Lots of set-up going on, and to me that is a pretty good thing. My only real concern, now that I’m sure everyone saw last week’s premier, is the Rogue situation. Attention Craig Kyle and Greg Johnson: Please get over your boner for Rogue flip-flopping between the X-Men and The Brotherhood. You’ve done it before. Okay, I get that it happened in the previous X-Men animated serious as well. But you wrote that too.

Next Episode: A warning from the future sends the X-Men on a mission to save one of their own from herself.

I may be the only one who cares, but…

January 31, 2009

Yeah, yeah, you’ve probably heard that Neil Gaiman’s going to do a two-issue Batman story, “Whatever Happened to the Cape Crusader?” that will no doubt be fantastic. But you’ll never guess what else Gaiman’s doing.

Give up? It’s Metamorpho! Yes, Gaiman will be telling a 12-page story of everyone’s favorite Element Man. Who’s drawing it, you ask? Mike Allred, a.k.a. the guy who drew X-Statix and whose art has reached a whole new level of awesome in his current Madman series (even if the story hasn’t always been as good). Apparently the story’s going to be part of a larger project Allred’s doing for DC. And when I say large, I mean that literally, too: the pages will be oversized!

Weekly Recommendations for 1/28/09

January 28, 2009

According to Goki’s mom, this is the best regular feature on this here blog. So what does that mean? Fuckin’ read it, that’s what! What follows are the most intriguing and eclectic titles in all comicdom coming out tomorrow.

DC Comics

Final Crisis #7 (of 7): It’s finally here. The final chapter in DC’s biggest storyline since, well, the original Crisis. I don’t know or understand half of what’s going on, but even I know huge fucking things went down in #6, and it’s great to see DC put this one out so fast after it. This is probably the pick up of the week, but who am I to say that?

Marvel

Captain America #46: Bucky (I find it weird calling him Captain America even if I love this book) goes to China to learn more about his past and the present, with the Man With No Face and Batroc the Leaper involved. And, apparently NAMOR comes back into his life. Sounds like the recipe for goodness to me.

Fantastic Four #563: It’s hard to say which is Millar’s best title (Wolverine, War Heroes and Kick-Ass all have myriads of fans), but this may be my vote. While Thing has a fiance, I’m far more intrigued with the ending of last week’s funeral issue for the Invisible Woman. Basically, Doom admits to having a “Master” who is on the wrecking path, which could potentially ruin who is my favorite villain of all time (since when does Doom admit to being inferior to anyone?), or hopefully, Millar spins it into greatness. I hold out hope.

Marvel 1985 HC: Speaking of Millar, this was arguably the best mini series of 2008 (Vaughan’s Logan and many others are in contention). Coupled with Tommy Lee Edwards, a brilliant artist, this is some great stuff, even if it teeters on at the end.

The Rest

Adventures of Charlz from Mars Book 1 Going Home: I think it’s safe to say that the name “Charles” is safe for awhile.

Buckaroo Banzai Big Size: You know what, old Spiffy would make an inference that this comic is about a giant penis, but instead, I’ll point out that this alliterative $5 mag sounds like a bundle of bouncing balls brimming with buoyant bombastic brilliance.

Glamourpuss #5: Clearly this isn’t something men want, because there’s a Zombie variant cover. A never dying pussy sounds faintly arousing at first….but that’s how it gets you.

Knuckles #6: This is either about the sharp and ugly cries uttered by the knuckles on our fingers when cracked that are inaudible to all but grasshoppers or that red Sonic sidekick guy I always liked

And…that’s all I got.

I’m buying Final Crisis, Captain America, FF, New Avengers and perhaps Ender’s Shadow. See ya next week!

Hindsight, Parts 1 and 2

January 25, 2009
Hindsight, Parts 1 and 2

Hindsight, Parts 1 and 2

Wolverine is haunted. It has been a year since the Xavier Institute was destroyed in an inexplicable explosion that left the X-Men splintered, and Charles Xavier and Jean Grey unaccounted for. Visions of the incident continue to plague his dreams. In the X-Men’s absence, the Mutant Response Division has begun detaining “dangerous” mutants. When the MRD goes too far by kidnapping and torturing a non-mutant family that has helped Logan recoup from injuries he sustained, he decides they’ve gone too far.

The series begins strongly, by thrusting you directly into a story already in progress. Foregoing the typical origin stories, or “get to know you” episodes, the first hour of the series focuses on establishing the tone of the series, and the current state of affairs for mutants in this universe.

The characters are very familiar, and maintain most of the characteristics and personalities that many are familiar with. Rogue maintains a close, yet troubled, relationship with Wolverine, a la the X-MEN films, as well as possessing simply her absorption abilities. Many more familiar faces show up, including Angel, who declines to officially rejoin the team, but will remain on the sidelines operating from within his father’s corporation, and a seemingly broken Cyclops,who has no interest in tackling the problems facing mutantkind without Jean Grey by his side.

The X-Men are also up against quite a lot in the way of antagonists. Not only are the MRD on their heels, headed up by who appears to be Colonel Wraith (with what seem to be Wolverine-inflicted facial scars), but they’re also under political attack from Senator Kelly, supported in part by Worthington Industries. On the mutant angle, The Brotherhood of Mutants, led by Domino and Quicksilver, are heading the X-Men off at every turn. In the first hour alone they’ve recruited Rogue, and faked the X-Men into appearing to be responsible for an attack on Senator Kelly’s life.

With such a fast-paced start, the questions and mysteries that remain unanswered are many. Who attacked the mansion? What exactly happened to Jean and Charles? Whose side is Rogue truly on? And where are the rest of the X-Men? It looks like a pretty good set up for season one.

I don’t have any kind of rating system for the series, but I would say this was an A+ start. Definitely worth a watch!

Get drunk with X-Men The Animated Series return to DVD

January 24, 2009

x-menvol1-2

“Hey! Don’t forget us,” says Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. According to TV Shows on DVD they’re bringing the original X-Men Animated Series back to DVD, with Volumes 1 and 2 of the ’90s favorite. What is in these volumes exactly? Who knows. But they’ll each be two discs and retail for $23.99. Will there be more volumes to come? We don’t know that either. Maybe no more trolling eBay for the burned (and illegal) DVD sets of every episode! How did DISNEY get their hands on these rights? The Mouse has power, guys.

But the good news is now you too can relieve all your old favorites crammed into a couple of discs, AND play the companion X-Men Drinking Game! Gather your friends and follow the instructions after the jump!

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The Fall of the Blue Beetle

January 24, 2009
"The Fall of the Blue Beetle"

Batman teams up with Ted Kord, the old Blue Beetle. Image Credit: ComicMix

I’ve got to admit, I’ve been watching this show since it’s debut in November, but I’ve yet to really come to a final determination on how I feel about it.

The concept is 100% there. A fresh take on an animated Batman, removing him from his element in Gotham City (a necessity for this concept), and dropping him into a different situation with a different hero or anti-hero (shout out the Goki!) each episode. The animation quality is excellent. The pacing is speedy. The voice-acting (when the right voice is chosen) is tops. Pretty solid basis for an animated series.

But there’s something about a more talkative, Silver Age-esque Batman that rubs a fan like me the wrong way. I’m used to a “silent yet brilliant” Batman who makes even the biggest foe pause with just a narrowing of his eyes. A major point of contention for me is the villains and heroes that Batman is teaming with… They aren’t A-List, which is part of the point, but they also aren’t very gripping. Aquaman as an overly aloof monarch, Kamandi, and Wildcat are some of the low points of his partners. The Gentleman Ghost (sorry, WHO?) Kanjar Ro (whoa, blast from the past, kids) and an odd incarnation of Toyman dubbed Fun Haus include some of the odd choices of villains.

Something keeps me coming back, though. And one of those things is the new Blue Beetle. Jaime Reyes as Batman’s occasional side-kick/protege brings a little excitement and inexperience to the series. So I was pleased to see that this week’s episode, “The Fall of the Blue Beetle” dealt not only with Jaime, but with Ted Kord, his predecessor to the mantle of Blue Beetle.

The plot to this episode brings something that, to a viewer like me, the series has been severely lacking: a sense of continuity! Batman has mentioned Jaime’s predecessor in the past, and Jaime takes the initiative to find out who he was, and what happened to him. Batman’s reluctance to help only eggs him on.

There are a couple of cool plot twists to the episode, and some throwbacks to some classic DC stuff. A highlight of the episode is definitely Batman and Kord’s affinity and shared-interest in techno-gadgets.

Certainly an episode worth catching if you’ve been watching the series, and a nice place to jump in if you haven’t. Hopefully this marks a shift in the series that will allow for a little more continuity from episode to episode.

Comic reviews- Final Crisis #6

January 23, 2009

finalcrisis6

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DC April 2009 solits highlights

January 21, 2009

DC has released its April 2009 solicitations and they’ve got some pretty interesting stuff coming out! I’m not going to do a full rundown in case AA and Spiffy decide to do one of their legendary Preview Reviews (also, I’m lazy), but here are a few things that caught my eye:

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They’re baaaack.

January 19, 2009
Wolverine and the X-Men

Wolverine and the X-Men. Cyclops has always complained about the temperature in those unstable-molecule suits.

Well, I’m psyched, aren’t you? It’s been about five years since we last saw the X-Men in animated form. And when we last left them they were in a bit of disarray. The cast of X-Men: Evolution had exploded, the focus was lost, and the WB had had enough. The series was canceled nine episodes into their 5th season near the end of 2003, leaving much of the recent events unresolved.

But this Friday the 23rd on Nicktoons Network the gang is coming together once more. Wolverine and the X-Men will make its US debut at 8:00pm with a one-hour premier. And when I said the gang is all here, I really meant it. Boyd Kirkland, Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, and Greg Johnson, the creative force behind X-Men: Evolution are all back to give it another shot.

Things are a little different this time. After three successful films it could be assumed that Americans and the rest of the world are vaguely familiar with the X-Men. This series, you’ll find, capitalizes on that from the get-go, foregoing the endless origin episodes and blasting you (literally) head-first into a storyline that would make for a pretty good cross-over event if it were being told in comic book form. When the series does need to weave in origin stories, you’ll notice that no matter what the plot is being advanced in some form.

The biggest twist on the X-Men dynamic is that Wolverine does indeed assume a leadership role in the X-Men. But you’ll find he doesn’t do it all that willingly.  Many of your old favorites return and some disappear off the map completely. There are also a few new faces on the team that will please some longtime X-Men fans.

We’ve got 26 episodes to look forward to in season one, and another 26 are already in preproduction for season two. So we’re going to have a lot to talk about soon.

And the best part about it? No Spyke. Or X-23. At least not yet.

Here’s hoping!